Seaside Beauties (re-worked)

On a chilly, wet July afternoon,

Attendants are unfolding a platoon

Of stripy deckchairs on the pier.

Under sagging sunshades or in see-through

Plastic macs, holidaymakers stare

At a bevy of beauties in bathing suits

With carefully coiffured hair

Counting goose-bumps on mottled skin.

The compere and resident comedian

Approaches the stage with an audacious grin,

Clears his throat, taps the microphone,

And the seaside beauty contest begins.

Teetering on high-heeled, sling-back shoes,

Fluttering false eyelashes against the drizzle,

Teenage girls face cheers and boos

As mascara runs and tempers sizzle.

To an impressionable child of six or seven,

Unaware of nineteen sixties feminism,

Such a glamorous parade was heaven

And an unattainable ambition

For a skinny, bespectacled girl,

Sandy-haired and without a curl.


© Kim M. Russell, 2016

Seaside Beauties

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